the president’s message at the launch of the mca in accra on wednesday, 16th august 2006
President John Agyekum Kufuor has said the $547 million Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) given to Ghana by the US government is expected to create two million jobs in "the next few years" in the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
Speaking at the national launch of the MCA at Lapaz a suburb of Accra, he said: “This is in line with the governing party’s manifesto of creating wealth to reduce poverty.”
President Kufuor said Ghanaians irrespective of region, district, tribe and religion must be proud that as a result of government’s commitment to national reconstruction and good governance, Ghana is benefiting from a $547 million Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).
He expressed gratitude to all Ghanaians for understanding the government to make “sacrifices in order to restore our broken down infrastructure, improve social services delivery” that yielded the MCA benefit.
Explaining the entire MCA concept to Ghanaians, he said it is “intended to modernize the nation’s agriculture and transform the rural economy radically. To this end, farmers will be assisted with high-yielding planting materials, credit, irrigation facilities, and training in modern farm practices to increase their productivity.”
He said: “Businesses will also be supported to invest in storage and marketing, transportation, value addition, and agro-industrialization. This should result in improved food security.”
President Kufuor assured the public that in order to ensure the judicious use of the fund as well as use it for what it is intended for a Millennium Development Authority (MDA) has been established “for the management and implementation of the Compact.”
He promised that those on the Authority, headed by the Minister of Public Sector Reform, Dr Paa Kwasi Nduom, are people of good standing in society “who also share our vision of accelerated growth and commitment to good governance practices.”
President Kufuor said government decided to choose Nyamekye Junction to launch the programme because millions of Ghanaians from all walks of life use the road that would benefit from the MCA.
“I am certain you will all be glad to hear that the MCA Project includes a 14 kilometre-six lane stretch from Mallam Junction to join the Tema Motorway. This should enable motorists to reach Tema Harbour in a mere 40 minutes instead of the current one and a half hours. It should also make for quicker transportation of exports, especially farm produce to the ports.”
He said as part of the benefits Ghana would be deriving from the MCA Project, more rural banks, savings and loans services would be established within Compact communities which are in 23 districts in the country.
“This way, carrying large sums of money for business, the risk of sending cash to relatives in villages and the difficulties in clearing Akuafo cheques will all become things of the past,” he said.
He said the project would only succeed if “beneficiary farmers, contractors, traders, workers and community leaders show exemplary commitment.